If you are building a new home or simply want to update your current home, start outside with curb appeal. Read more »
Here comes the bride — and the groom, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen – plan ahead, practice a little, and then enjoy bring... Read more »
When you’re filling out your wish-list of wedding gifts, don’t forget to include supplies for the garden shed. With the right... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Pruner, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techn... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented-pending tec... Read more »
Making your own wedding invites and thank you cards is a delightful task when you a few versatile tools and simple techniques... Read more »
Nothing adds a special touch to a wedding like a handmade item. Read more »
Create a beautiful setting for your post-wedding brunch. Using these Fiskars tools will make the project even easier. Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
Choose our low-maintenance Photo Bypass Paper Trimmer to trim large quantities of photos with speed and precision. An easy-to-u... Read more »
Give your small outdoor space a mini makeover using a few simple tools to complete these fabulous projects. Read more »
Window treatments can turn a room from drab to fab, but if you’re on a budget sometimes hand-me-down curtains will have to do,... Read more »
If you’re not ready to fully embrace the trend for bold 70’s prints in your clothing, why not reflect it with a gloriously lou... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through fabric, our RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears feature... Read more »
Our Classic Stick Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade is ideal for crisp, controlled cuts on a wide variety of materials. A symmet... Read more »
Make clean up time a fun game for the kids! It becomes really easy for toddlers and preschoolers to match their toys to their... Read more »
Funny Face Magnet Gift Wrap is simple to make and quite literally gives each gift magnetic personality. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The most common complaint I hear when traveling is about soil quality for growing veggies. It may be too sandy, full of clay... Read more »
Creating a customized look is easier than you think - even when it comes to sewing up larger items such as this duvet cover an... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
Struggling to design and install a professional looking mixed border is certainly one of them. Creating a bed that looks as lush and lovely as their favorite garden photos is by far their most consistent conundrum.
Sure, we all drool over those gorgeous magazine spreads and Pinterest pictures, but translating those looks into our own garden beds isn’t something that auto-magically happens. But, by using a dash of layering mixed with a sprinkling of color, texture and year-round interest plantings, topped off with structural elements, any gardener can create the garden bed of their dreams.
So first: What is layering?
Think of the depth of a garden bed. And bydepth, I mean how far it is from the front edge where the bed meets a patio, deck, lawn, path or other non-bed element to the back where the bed meets up with a fence, wall, forest or other end point. Within that bed depth, designers think of plantings in terms of mixed heights that build layers from low, ground-hugging levels at the front edge, gaining height in ever-taller “layers” as you proceed toward the rear of the bed. If your bed happens to be an island shape with no defined “back”, it still moves from low at the front edge to high in the middle and back to low on the opposite side of the island shape.
Finding subtlety in building these layers without creating a mixed border that looks like military lines may take a bit of fine-tuning. Sometimes a punctuation mark of height popped into a grouping of lower plants is necessary. Quite often, an element that has its shining moment in summer may be completely gone in winter. Picking up the cold season slack, design in an element that struts its stuff in winter. Later, that cool season superstar may simply become a backdrop against which the summer star shines.
Mixing textures, shapes and colors is another part of layering the border. To create mixed interest, a designer is not likely to place two broad leaf evergreen shrubs with shiny leaves next to each other. Instead, a single mid-size, evergreen shrub like a spring blooming Azalea might be better if partnered with a winter-blooming Witch Hazel above it, a summer flowering Hydrangea beside it, and an autumn-flowering Autumn Joy Sedum in front of it with a naturalizing swath of Black Mondo grass at the lowest, front point. This mix of textures, forms, bloom times and sizes creates a layering effect via mixed heights, mixed seasons of interest, and mixed textures.
While plants play a big part in creating a gorgeous, mixed-interest, layered garden bed, adding in structural elements can really be that cherry on the sundae. For instance, incorporating a tall art element toward the middle-back of a mixed border offers the eye something interesting year-round, plus it will draw the eye upward into the higher layers of the garden bed. Lower boulders can also provide for easy-care, every-season border elements that anchor any portion of the layering heights within the design. Even tucking in something functional like a dark, Fiskars Eco-Bin composter can add interest. Or, it can simply serve as a dark backdrop against which something really special can pop.
Finally, avoid another common new designer blunder, and remember that those little plants you buy from the nursery are going to grow – some upward, some outward, and some all over the place. Install your plants with the goal of watching them mature over time into a lush, layered bed. Think ahead and plan to divide and transplant spreading perennials into any empty spots in the future. Overcrowding your bed to force a lush, layered look in the first year may result in any number of longer term problems no gardener wants to face. Planning for the longer term will help you design like a pro and enjoy a gorgeous, magazine-spread worthy garden every pinner will want to Pin!